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GRE vs GMAT – Which is easier?

A very crucial question comes up in every applicant’s mind- “Should I give GRE or GMAT?”

This GRE vs GMAT conundrum is a very valid one and needs an apt answer, because it affects the very outlook of your application.

There need not be a good-for-all answer to this question. Therefore, read the factors below to find out what you might find easy and relevant to your profile. By the time you are done reading this blog post, you should be close to deciding which test is best for your application.

gre vs gmat intro

GRE vs GMAT- The difference between the two examinations

  • GRE can get you an admission into Graduate Schools and Business Schools for your Masters. The GRE consists primarily of Verbal and Quantitative sections, whose scores vary from 130 to 170 in 1-point increments. It also consists of a 60-minute Analytical Writing section with two essays of 30 minutes each. Offered as a computer adaptive exam in the United States, this exam lasts for 3.5 hours on paper or 3.75 hours if given on computer. The cost of registering for GRE is $195
  • GMAT can only get you an admission for a Masters from Business Schools. GMAT consists of 2 major sections- Verbal and Quantitative. It also has a 30-minute Analytic section with one essay, a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section, but their scores are separate and do not add up for the total GMAT score. The GMAT score ranges can possibly range from 200 up to 800, in 10-point increments. The duration of the exam is 3.5 hours and it costs $250.
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Both the test scores are valid for 5 years.

Now, let us analyze the differences in the contents of the two examinations-

The types of questions in the two examinations can be compared according to two sections- Verbal and Quantitative.

A) GRE vs GMAT – Verbal Section

The GRE verbal section has questions regarding-

  • Sentence equivalence
    It tests your ability to understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts. The questions asked consist of a single sentence with one blank and six answer choices. You have to select two answer choices.
  • Reading Comprehension
    It tests your ability to analyze a situation and come to a conclusion; reason from incomplete data; understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative and author’s intent. The questions asked are multiple-choice questions with five answer choices, of which you must select one.
  • Text Completion
    It tests your ability to interpret and evaluate information. It checks whether you can picture as a whole and revise that picture as you go. The questions asked are in the form of a passage, out of which about 1-5 sentences are long with a couple of blanks. You have to choose the right answer from among the 5 answer choices.

Whereas that of GMAT includes-

  • Sentence Correction
    It tests your grammar and effective communication skills. The questions asked will be in the form of a sentence. A part of the sentence will be underlined. You’ll have to choose the right phrase from among the 5 choices to replace the underlined part.
  • Reading Comprehension
    It tests your ability to analyze a situation and come to a conclusion. A set of questions will be asked on a passage. You have to read the content of the passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question.
  • Critical Reasoning
    It tests your reasoning skills. You have to analyze the information on which the question is based and then select the right answer.

A major difference between the two exams here is that while GRE tests your vocabulary, GMAT is more about grammar.

B) GRE vs GMAT – Quantitative Section

In the Quantitative section, the course content (algebra, data interpretation, geometry, arithmetic, word problems) is same for both the exams. But, the question format is different for each of the exams.

The Quantitative section questions for GRE are divided into 4 categories –

  • Quantitative comparison questions
  • Multiple-choice Questions – Select One Answer Choice
  • Multiple-choice Questions – Select One or More Answers Choice
  • Numeric Entry questions

For GMAT, it’s divided into 2 categories –

  • Problem-solving
  • Data sufficiency
    However, the GMAT math is much more challenging than the GRE one. Also, while GRE asks you to choose from multiple answers, type in the correct values or make quantitative comparisons, GMAT focuses on testing your problem solving skills and also throws some data sufficiency questions.

A major difference here is that GRE allows you to use the calculator while GMAT does not, even though the Math is more difficult in the GMAT. Therefore, proficiency in mathematics can help you decide in GRE vs GMAT tiff.

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GRE vs GMAT- Which one is the best for you?

Let us summarize what you have read till now and connect it with your profile.

  • If you are focused on Business Schools, GMAT would help you the most. Over 6,000 business graduate programs at approximately 1,700 universities and organizations around the world accept the GMAT exam. It is designed specifically to test your management aptitude. Though there are Business schools that accept GRE, some may not necessarily weigh it as equal to GMAT.
  •  GRE is a good option if you are still thinking about choosing a program for yourself but want to give the exam now as the scores are valid for 5 years. That way, you can later opt for either Business Schools or non-management courses. However, for the same reason, GMAT is seen as a sign of commitment to management programs.
  •  GRE is a good option if an amazing vocabulary is your strength. But then again, if you are fluent in English but lesser fluent applicants can get past you by learning over 1000 words, you have one more reason to go for GMAT over GRE.
    No matter what you choose, ultimately your aim should be to get a score that the Admission officers can’t ignore.








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